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      03-01-2016, 07:19 PM   #1
tawfeeqh
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Handling/ Suspension Upgrade

Hi Guys

I am thinking about improving the handling of my car without sacrificing ride quality by too much. I have decided NOT to go with a Coilover setup and just stick to upgrading other components of the suspension to hopefully improve the handling. Any advice/ thoughts will be much appreciated. Obviously looking for bang for buck upgrades because if I do all the below at once, will need to sell the house

For reference my car is an e90 335i with M-sport package

Tyres

I am currently running Kumho KU39 235/35/19 and 265/30/19 and wanted something with a bit more grip. I have 19x8.5" front and 19x9.5" rear rims

My initial thoughts were:

Michelin Pilot Super Sport or
Yokohama Advan AD08R

Any thoughts?

I am also considering going 245 front and 275 rear, however wondering if 245 up front will be too wide and I should just stick to 235 and 265. My rims offsets are not very aggressive, so have a bit of room (also being a pre-lci e90) . I am running 5mm (front) and 10mm (rear) spacers so have the option of removing them in case it rubs.

Quaife LSD

I am thinking of getting these as it will improve both cornering out speeds and also launching for 1/4 miles

http://www.schmiedmann.com/en/bmw-e9...product=QUA829

Springs

I am inclined to leave the stock M-sport springs, unless others feel going to Eiback or H&R will be significantly better

Shocks

I was thinking on upgrading to Koni yellow adjustable shock & strut kit, perhaps something like in this link. I heard these would be the best for improving handling and maintaining comfort. Any views?

https://www.ecstuning.com/BMW-E90-33...ocks/ES518057/

Sway bars

I have found a few online, all have different prices, with H&R being the most expensive, followed by Eibach then the cheapest being the Australian made Whiteline. Anyone use any of these with any feedback?

H&R 27mm front 20mm rear with polyurethane bushings
https://www.ecstuning.com/BMW-E90-33..._Bar/ES514299/

Eibach 28mm front 15mm rear with urethane bushing
https://www.ecstuning.com/BMW-E90-33...Bar/ES2562638/

Whiteline 22mm front 22mm rear (need to find out what type of bushing)
http://pages.ebay.com/link/?nav=item...298118&alt=web

Control Arms

M3 Front Control Arm
https://www.ecstuning.com/BMW-E90-33...Arm/ES2622633/

M3 Rear Control Arm
https://www.ecstuning.com/BMW-E90-33...Arm/ES2586480/

Rear M3 Bushings

https://www.ecstuning.com/BMW-E90-33...Arm/ES2703087/

Thanks guys
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      03-01-2016, 07:37 PM   #2
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I am running AD08Rs, they're not really in the same category as super sports in my opinion. Theyre softer and more gripper at the expense of tyre life. Pilot super sports will last a lot longer but if you track your car you'll probably find they start chunking up on the outer sidewall. PSS would be a better tyre for a car that sees decent kms. AD08Rs are amazingly grippy and have a stiff sidewall. Means you can maximize the tyre width on the rim without worrying too much about sidewall rollover in the corners.

LSD i'd go mfactory, I don't think the quaife offers anything tangible over the mfactory. Wavetrac at least has some 'locking' so that has some benefits.

Rather than throw a load of parts at it, what do you find deficient with the cars handling? Understeers too much? Rear feels loose? People drive their cars differently and will need different stuff to satisfy their needs. Are you planning on tracking the car? I have Bilstein B12 kit on order, want to just get rid of the crap stock dampers and not lower the car too much.

Unless you drive really hard/track the car some mods may or may not be needed. I have the M3 control arms and find I need even more camber. Will be getting the Dinan camber plates.

I would leave the sway bars as a fine tuning mod after you put the upgraded springs and struts on.

M3 rear subframe bushes will probably cost close to 1k once you get them installed, and theyre still just rubber. Go the polyurethane ones (nolathane), they're only around $165 and they're very well made.
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Last edited by vtl; 03-01-2016 at 08:28 PM.
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      03-01-2016, 07:38 PM   #3
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i did rear subframe bushes (nolethane), lower rear m3 arms (guide rods) and megan racing toe arms and it made a massive difference to the way the car felt much less bouncing around. Also a significant increase in traction under power.

I'd definitely start with this. I know the labour is expensive but well worth it even better if you can DIY.
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      03-01-2016, 07:50 PM   #4
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I bought nitto NT05's as they're rated as in between say a PSS and a semi (best of both worlds and dont chunk on the track like PSS can do) and they're quite cheap.

I have 245/35's and 275/30 on my m3 comp pack rims and it scraps occasionally (I only have rolled rear guards) but I have firm spring rates 7 kg/mm F and 14 kg/mm R (M3 spec BC coilovers) I get a slight rub when doing say a u turn, or high speed dips in the road I might get a slight rub in the rear (nothing worth worrying about) I have a E92 I believe the E90 guards are more accommodating so you should be fine!

I've only done a few hundred kays on the m3 driveline with the NT05's but its a massive improvement! I've always been dissapointed with the steering feel, turn in response so went big with the chassis mods and it's now finally a car I feel happy with in terms of handling and putting the power down with the rear chassis flopping all over the place...
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      03-01-2016, 07:57 PM   #5
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You need to check clearance between the front strut and the tyre. It can get tight, depending on offset, wheel width and tyre width.

What wheel widths do you have? I personally don't see a need to go wider than 235/265. Better tyres will have a much, much bigger impact than width. My vote goes for Michelin PSS. You're probably better sticking to 235/265 and pushing the spacer thickness more, to get wider track.

Here is what I have and I LOVE it!

- MFactory LSD (does the same as a Quaife, but lower cost)

- Michelin PSS 235/265

- Bilstein B8 monotube shocks with stock M-Sport springs

- M3 front lower control arms. Absolute must-have IMO. (gives you better camber, especially on the outside wheel when cornering due to no bush deflection)

- M3 front caster arms (aka. tension struts and other random names). The arm itself is identical but the bush is much firmer and the bushes are a pain in the ass to swap, so the extra cost of just buying the whole arms is worth it!

- M3 rear subframe bushes

- E93 15mm rear swaybar. Further helps reduce the factory understeer tendency and slightly reduces body roll.

I think M3 swaybars are too stiff. I've never had an issue with body roll. I love the handling balance I get with stock front swaybar and slightly bigger rear bar.

I'm not running very big power at the moment. I'm happy with the amount the subframe bushes tightened the rear up without replacing any of the rear arms. It may need to be something I re-assess with more power.
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      03-01-2016, 08:26 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DR-JEKL View Post
I bought nitto NT05's as they're rated as in between say a PSS and a semi (best of both worlds and dont chunk on the track like PSS can do) and they're quite cheap....
Hey mate,

How noisy are the NT05's? I'm running Federal Rsr's at the moment and want to go to something quieter next..

Do you know if the NT05's actually outperform the PSSs?

Simon
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      03-01-2016, 08:39 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sliderpass View Post
Hey mate,

How noisy are the NT05's? I'm running Federal Rsr's at the moment and want to go to something quieter next..

Do you know if the NT05's actually outperform the PSSs?

Simon
Hmm NVH is subjective, and what is acceptable to one is unacceptable to another...

I had goodyear F1 A2's and going from RFT's straight away noticed how much smoother riding and quieter the F1's were over the pirelli RFT's.

They definately are noisier than the F1's but it's still acceptable IMO. No idea how they compare to RSR's TBH in terms of NVH.

As for the NT05 from the reviews I read they were rated higher than a PSS in terms of grip and resistance against chunking on track days

I've literally only done say 300 kms on mine so far though (mostly highway) until I get my car back from advan after they sort out my M3 driveline issue..
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      03-01-2016, 10:18 PM   #8
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Thanks for the input guys much appreciated.

vtl I was looking into Quaife because I read they were quiter in operation compared to the mfactory and also because some of the install issues others were having with mfactory not supplying everything. Again this is just me reading threads, but yeh will consider mfactory too when I purchase. Do you know if mechanically there is anything different between Quaife and mfactory - are they both helical? I know the os giken is different.

In terms of cars handling, since running ethanol I feel the cars rear is a bit too loose and I would also like to improve body roll. I would also like to improve steering feel and turn in response.

Tyres - thanks for your thoughts PSS vs AD08R. My car does under 10,000km a year and is not a daily drive. Car will only occasionally see a circuit track and more likely be run down a drag strip every 2-3 months.

titium Thanks for the advise. Looks like the rear subframe bushes and lower arms is a must. cheers

drjekl Thanks for your review on the nt05s. I will price these up against the PSS and AD08R. I was also thinking about semi's but then I thought id get something in between and though the PSS or AD08R are good in between tyres, but now I'll add NT05s to the list. I note you have done the entire m3 subframe conversion. I don't want to go coilover route so will either stick with the msport springs and combine with some better shocks like Koni or Bilstien or replace the springs to Eibach (maybe). Im okay with my ride height tbh.

bradsm87 - Thanks for giving insights on your full setup and what works for you. Its good to read you still have the stock msport springs with some Bilstien B8s and they work well together. Looks like sticking with the e90 m3 tyre dimensions may be the way to go i.e. 235 front, 265 rear. Also sounds like the front lower control arms are a must. In terms of swaybars - you've done the rears to 15mm, is that a more time consuming install then the fronts or is the other way around? As I will be swapping my turbos in the next few months with some Hexons I may need to do the rear arms as well
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      03-01-2016, 10:28 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tawfeeqh View Post
bradsm87 - Thanks for giving insights on your full setup and what works for you. Its good to read you still have the stock msport springs with some Bilstien B8s and they work well together. Looks like sticking with the e90 m3 tyre dimensions may be the way to go i.e. 235 front, 265 rear. Also sounds like the front lower control arms are a must. In terms of swaybars - you've done the rears to 15mm, is that a more time consuming install then the fronts or is the other way around? As I will be swapping my turbos in the next few months with some Hexons I may need to do the rear arms as well
I suspect front swaybar is easier to install but it would be a bad idea for the install ease to sway the swaybar choice (no pun intended). Stiffer in front makes the car more understeery and stiffer rear makes the car more oversteery. I found the factory car far too understeery. Now it's very neutral.
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      03-01-2016, 10:45 PM   #10
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If you want to upgrade your dampers and keep your springs, go Bilstein B6. Theyre valved the same as B8 but the B8 is shorter to accommodate lowered springs. I couldnt find the B6 for a reasonable price so I just went the B12 kit (its a Eibach springs with B8 dampers valved to match $1k AUD shipped).

Quaife and mfactory should be functionally the same they are both torsen differentials (helical). Quaife does not come with shims but I think the LSD unit is probably more closely sized to the OEM unit, not requiring shimming in most cases. Wavetrac is also a torsen diff that features some locking capability under zero load conditions which I think is probably the best performing helical available - in theory. I ended up getting an E92 M3 DCT replacement diff after considering all the options available for my car.

If your car only does 10,000km then AD08R would be a good option. Its around $1400 on a set of 18" though. The Michelin equivalent tyre is a Pilot Sport Cup 2, also a great tyre.

The general rule of stiffer front sway = understeer isn't the full story on BMWs. These cars do not run multi-link front suspension, they run Macpherson struts. When the car is under full lean, you actually lose camber, reducing lateral grip. You want to run as much camber as you can put on the car and a stiffer front sway to reduce the body roll so you don't lose camber under compression. Obviously if you run a really really thick bar you'll start to lift the inside wheel under cornering and lose grip, but you would just pick an appropriately sized bar.

Front sway is really easy to install, rear is a little tricky, you have to lower the rear subframe for it. Brake lines need to be disconnected, all 4 subframe bolts fully removed and let the subframe hang down as far as it will go. If you are doing rear subframe bushings you can save on labour and get it installed at the same time.
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Last edited by vtl; 03-01-2016 at 10:54 PM.
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      03-01-2016, 10:53 PM   #11
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Cool vtl

So these b12s with Eibach springs, did you purchase locally or order online? Sounds really cheaps for springs and dampers or have I mis-interpreted what you said?

If you can please send me the details of where you placed the order from

Cheers
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      03-01-2016, 10:59 PM   #12
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Was $1k for springs and shocks including delivery from Germany

http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/Eibach-Bi...kAAOSwr81UTlMQ

Once I get some dinan camber plates I would have spent as much as a set of BC coilovers (can be bought locally for $1400 shipped). The BCs already come with a camber plate so its one less thing to buy. Theyre adjustable (height and damping) too, with rear adjusters that you can mount to the boot lining so you don't have to tear out your boot carpet to readjust them. Rode in my friends car and was pretty comfortable. The only downside is the strut mount is solid and may clunk over bumps, its the only reason why I didn't go for them.
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      03-01-2016, 10:59 PM   #13
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Somewhat the purpose of negative camber is to increase the contact patch during body roll for the outside tyres which are carrying the weight during hard cornering.

I don't understand how camber would be 'lost' during cornering with MacPherson struts?
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      03-01-2016, 11:02 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vtl View Post
If you want to upgrade your dampers and keep your springs, go Bilstein B6. Theyre valved the same as B8 but the B8 is shorter to accommodate lowered springs. I couldnt find the B6 for a reasonable price so I just went the B12 kit (its a Eibach springs with B8 dampers valved to match $1k AUD shipped).
The Bilstein catalogue says that the B6 is to suit non M-sport springs and the B8 is to suit M-sport springs. I must admit, I'm disappointed that I've lost extension travel by moving to the B8 shocks, which means I'd be more likely to lift a wheel in certain situations. I always thought the B8 shocks are valved firmer than the B6 shocks. If Bilstein were to confirm that our B6 and B8 shocks both have the exact same valve stack, I'm tempted to complain to them for recommending B8 when I've lost 20mm travel I'm sure M-sport springs stay captive completely fine in B6 shocks.

I understand the concept that stiffening front swaybar can actually help understeer by keeping the outside tyre's contact patch flatter on the road. The chassis is quite stiff so even the rear swaybar helps this front contact patch issue. I find that these cars don't have much body roll anyway.
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      03-01-2016, 11:06 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vtl
Was $1k for springs and shocks including delivery from Germany

http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/261825704...%3AMEBIDX%3AIT

Out of stock at the moment though.

Once I get some dinan camber plates I would have spent as much as a set of BC coilovers (can be bought locally for $1400 shipped). The BCs already come with a camber plate so its one less thing to buy. Theyre adjustable (height and damping) too, with rear adjusters that you can mount to the boot lining so you don't have to tear out your boot carpet to readjust them. Rode in my friends car and was pretty comfortable. The only downside is the strut mount is solid and may clunk over bumps, its the only reason why I didn't go for them.
yeh Id rather not have clunks and noises as well and don't want too much of a harsh ride as with coilovers. This is why I was thinking of going Koni yellows, mmmm now im confused :
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      03-01-2016, 11:23 PM   #16
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I find the body doesn't feel like it leans too much during normal driving but its really apparent on sticky tyres on twisty mountain roads or on the racetrack.

Looking at some of the photos snapped on track under cornering it really looks like the wheel has a little positive camber on the outside front.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scotty89 View Post
Somewhat the purpose of negative camber is to increase the contact patch during body roll for the outside tyres which are carrying the weight during hard cornering.

I don't understand how camber would be 'lost' during cornering with MacPherson struts?
Under full compression on a Macpherson strut, the geometry is such that the wheel will start to gain positive camber. Just have a look at the camber curve of a Macpherson strut suspension. On a multilink the designers can make the wheel increase negative camber as it is compressed. But you can make it work (BMWs and Porsches run this setup) by running the car stiff and give it enough negative camber.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tawfeeqh View Post
yeh Id rather not have clunks and noises as well and don't want too much of a harsh ride as with coilovers. This is why I was thinking of going Koni yellows, mmmm now im confused :
I actually found the BCs on my friends E92 were much more comfortable than the stock suspension. Can run the coilover pretty high near stock height too. Mine just crashes over fast bumps, the dampers arent reacting fast enough on compression it seems. Slow bumps the stock suspension seems OK, also mine is on 146,000kms so they are probably a bit tired.

Koni Yellows are significantly more expensive and are adjustable. But looking how much of a pain they are to adjust I would consider them non-adjustable for most normal people. Bilstien are also considered a bit more heavy duty and will last longer, but I personally don't know how true that is.
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      03-01-2016, 11:29 PM   #17
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Getting koni yellows installed as we speak on my 1 series. Ill let you know in the next couple of days my impressions.

I spoke with harold from HPA in the states. He was very helpful and answered all my questions. I'd highly recommend shooting him an email.

I ended up getting swift spec R springs to pair with my koni's. Can't be bought locally but I got them for about $530 inc delivery. Just do a google for reviews of koni yellows and swift spec R springs.
Having said all this though you could probably get away with keeping your standard springs and just upgrade dampers.
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      03-01-2016, 11:35 PM   #18
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I was going to get bilstein B8's and Eibachs but they were much the same price as the BC's.

The BC's include superior damper adjustment (the rear koni's you have to physcially remove from the car to adjust by memory) ride height adjustment (comes in handy if you get a bodykit and scrape on your driveway and need to add 5mm of lift or move houses and need to lift to access the driveway/garage etc) and pillowball mounts. BFYB they are a no brainer and I didnt want to put 'taiwanese crap' on my BMW but I don't regret installing them.

My car has done 80k kays and the BC dampers are far superior to the M sport sussy. (I was happy with the msport ride height and the BC's maintained the same height)
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      03-02-2016, 02:17 AM   #19
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Cool thanks guys. I will way up prices between BC coil overs and Spring+damper kits and go with one them.

Will also look into rear sub frame bushings and also front control arms.

Thanks a lot to everyone who commented/ assisted, much appreciated
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      03-02-2016, 03:21 AM   #20
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+1 on the bc coils. Very comfortable and literally takes 2 minutes to adjust all 4 dampers. I've yet to play around with the camber but will probably do all that with the next set of tyres and alignment. I also have the poly subframe bushings paired with it as well. $1400 or so and received it next day.
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      03-03-2016, 06:14 AM   #21
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vtl - I found this kit for my car similar to what you ordered

Eibach springs + B6 shocks

$1200 AUD delivered

http://pages.ebay.com/link/?nav=item...228436&alt=web

Whilst the add says B12 shocks when I PMd the seller he said they are B6 shocks. What do you reckon, will this be a reasonable upgrade over my m-sport suspension, without compromising comfort too much?
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      03-03-2016, 06:34 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tawfeeqh View Post
vtl - I found this kit for my car similar to what you ordered

Eibach springs + B6 shocks

$1200 AUD delivered

http://pages.ebay.com/link/?nav=item...228436&alt=web

Whilst the add says B12 shocks when I PMd the seller he said they are B6 shocks. What do you reckon, will this be a reasonable upgrade over my m-sport suspension, without compromising comfort too much?
B12 kit consists of B8 shocks + eibach prokit springs. Doesn't sound like the seller knows what hes selling. Can't run a sport spring on a B6 cos the shock is longer. Chances are you'd wear out the shock prematurely, kind of like when you run lowered springs on stock dampers.

Once you run that purchase through paypal currency conversion it'll take around 1250-1300 from your account and don't forget customs. I think its a bit too pricey compared to a set of BC coilovers ($1300). Remember the BCs come with a camber plate but the B12 kit you still need to spend another $250 for a Dinan camber plate to match the BC. I'd only go for Bilstien if you can get it for $1k AUD to your door.

Yes it should be an upgrade over the sport suspension and improve the ride quality. A good damper can make a stiffer spring comfortable. A ride an my friend 1M showed me that while the car was very stiff, it soaked up all the bumps. Only low speed speed bumps is where you really feel the harshness


E90 BC coilovers $1300 to your door, local:
http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/BC-Racing...IAAOSwAYtWJwQ5
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